FOR TALKING ABOUT DRUGS IN THE CLASSROOM
CREATE A POSITIVE CLASSROOM
Drug education is most effective when students feel comfortable sharing their
ideas and asking a lot of questions.
- Create a climate where students
feel comfortable approaching you, expressing feelings and asking questions.
- Give all students an opportunity to
talk the quiet ones often have questions to ask but feel they do not get to share
- Demonstrate your interest in the
students and their concerns by asking appropriate questions.
- Listen to everything that a
particular individual has to say before formulating a response.
- Always leave the door open for
future conversations and communication.
Although it is essential that
educators provide students with accurate facts about drug abuse and its side effects,
prevention education also centers on listening. Listening carefully and really hearing
involve the following:
to the words being communicated, but also be aware of the non-verbal
communication that accompanies these words. Non-verbal cues indicating feelings of fear,
anger, or guilt are important for teachers to understand if they are to be truly helpful
to their students.
by paying attention. Looking directly at a student who is speaking is very
confirming. It allows the student to believe what he or she is saying is being listened
to, is important, and is being understood. Teachers need to be aware of their own
non-verbal behaviors when they listen, such as frowns when they disapprove of something
and smiles when they approve.
without interrupting. Interrupting a person who is trying to understand or
be understood or trying to express feelings about something very important, frightening or
guilt-laden may result in a shut-down at the very moment when an unclear or undeveloped
thought is about to be clarified.
without judging. For students to learn through open communication, you
must permit them to speak and listen when they are speaking. The very thoughts that might
be responded to quickly in a negative, judgmental way may be of great concern to the
without giving advice. Giving advice is often an easy way of dealing with
a complex problem. Students attempting to cope with the many issues associated with drug
use must examine each issue and may not respond to quick and seemingly easy solutions.
Communication takes time; giving advice often short-circuits the process.
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